Debt Service Jumps 100 Billion in 2019 Budget

YERUSHALAYIM -

A draft budget for 2019 circulated among government ministers on Monday contained a 100 billion shekel increase in the amount allocated for debt service over 2018, Globes reported.

The cabinet is scheduled to vote on the document prepared by the Ministry of Finance on Thursday and Friday.

Because of debt increase, the Ministry has again delayed for a year the planned multi-year decline in the fiscal deficit. The deficit target for 2019 is 2.9 percent of GDP, instead of 2.5 percent. The target for 2020 will be 2.5 percent instead of 2.25 percent, and so on.

The ministry with the highest budget for 2019 is the Ministry of Education, with NIS 57 billion, followed by the Ministry of Defense, with NIS 55 billion. Interest payments on government debt will amount to NIS 39 billion, and NIS 36 billion will go to the Ministry of Health.

The overall figure for the draft budget: 479,427,411,000 shekels.